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View Diary: I Never Needed Bin Laden Dead To Get Closure. (206 comments)

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  •  i loathe the very concept (19+ / 0-)

    of closure. as if grieving suddenly stops and everything is okay again.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue May 03, 2011 at 09:50:56 AM PDT

    •  Well, we know that isn't life (19+ / 0-)

      or how it works.

      Looks like our military is doing just fine even as Don't Ask, Don't Tell is being dismantled.

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue May 03, 2011 at 10:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet the sentiment is ubiquitous (9+ / 0-)

        It's somehow taken root in our culture. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard some talking head on the radio or the TV, or seen someone bloviating online, about how OBL's death will bring "closure" to the families of the 9/11 victims.

        I've done grief counseling, and that's a crock of bull. Start to finish, top to bottom, through and through bull. On the scale of grief reactions, the violent death of a loved one (particularly a child, even if the "child" is adult in  years) is right up there at the top of the "never-get-overs." There is no "closure" because the mastermind behind it is dead. That doesn't bring back the dead he's responsible for taking out of this world before their time. It doesn't undo what he did. And, frankly, from a clinical perspective, just as you pointed out in the diary, it's likely to stir up old feelings and reopen more wounds--not close them.

        If I ever got dictatorial powers over the universe (hey, a boy can dream, right?) the idea that there's ever "closure" for a grief reaction would be one of the first things I'd erase from the fabric of the universe. Along with the pernicious idea that there's one "soulmate" out there for everyone, and that you're supposed to spend your life looking for him/her, and stay with him/her forevermore once you've found that person. And the idea that the Republican Party is in any way, shape, or form trustworthy or interested in anything but its own aggrandizement.

        •  No, there's no closure from the grief, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clarknt67, Heart of the Rockies

          but, as one student in DC said, "Now we know the boogeyman will not come out from under the bed". While that might not be a logical reaction, I'm sure it's one that many people share. There may be closure for the fear and insecurity. And that counts for something.

          "We live now in hard times, not end times." Jon Stewart

          by tb92 on Tue May 03, 2011 at 12:24:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's about fictions. (5+ / 0-)

          I like to think that storytelling is the key to essential human-ness. Creating explanations & narratives about all the things that happen to us...

          And at some point, maybe with mass media, maybe with the assumptions that "normal" is "what everyone should be like" -- maybe just with the increased presence of constructed stories in everyone's lives (tv, movie, etc) -- I think there's this idea that 'story' is how things should be. Beginning, middle, end; open a new book, put in another DVD, start over. And, of course, the good guys win.

          And those fictions are much easier to deal with than the realities of grief, loss, etc.The escape of living inside a story can be such a relief... so of course 'theories' that hide that discomfort are popular. And the opinions of those who disagree, for whom the stories don't work, are themselves hidden as part of that discomfort, which just keeps the fictional narrative going...

          •  And if people treated it like fiction, (8+ / 0-)

            I could see it helping. For a little while, anyway. Anything that helps people cope, especially when they're mired in the depths of a truly horrific process where the darkness seems to be pressing ever closer in upon them with every breath they take, is useful. But this particular fiction is pernicious. It's a crutch, sure--but a crutch that has a built-in auto-destruct mechanism so that at some point when you lean on it because you need it, it shatters into a million pieces, and you wind up on your ass on the pavement with everyone looking at you. It's a false comfort.

            Grief is a peculiar thing. The one constant in it is that everyone I've ever worked with found tremendous comfort in the idea that there really was a process going on--even if I couldn't lay out for them the exact stages, or give them a precise timetable. It was just comforting to know that they weren't the only ones who'd ever gone through something like this before, that they weren't crazy, and that somewhere down the line there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel that wasn't an oncoming freight train. But I'm always up-front with the people I talk to: I tell them right away that I can't guarantee it's going to go in the "usual" way, or take the "usual" amount of time. I tell them there are going to be days, literally, where just mustering the energy to get out of bed is going to seem like an impossible task. There will be days when they're going to bump into walls, and need to look three or four times before crossing a street, just to make sure that they don't inadvertently walk out into traffic. From my perspective, it would be cruel--and unprofessional--to tell them there was going to be some magical, mystical thing called "closure" that would happen if the person(s) responsible for their loss(es) were to be brought to justice. It doesn't really help. At all. At least that I've been able to see. I hear that from the families of murder victims after the murderer has been put to death--they thought it would make it easier to cope with their loss, but it doesn't.

            I see no reason to believe it's any different in this case.

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